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Plans move forward to bring large battery components manufacturer to Big Rapids area

Being touted as a once in a generation opportunity, the township boards of Big Rapids and Green along with the Mecosta County Board of Commission unanimously approved an 400 acre area of the Industrial Park near the Big Rapids' Roben Hood Airport as a 'Renaissance Zone' to bring Gotion Inc., a leading advanced battery manufacturer to the area.

Chuck Thelen, Gotion Inc., Vice-President of NA operations said there were a number of factors to why his company is targeting Mecosta County.

 

“So why Big Rapids?, proximity to sufficient sustainable energy, our company and our EV industry customers and energy storage customers place a lot of value on sustainability.” “Skilled labor force, we have done three studies in this state, we took federal information, state information and we commissioned our own study." "There are about 177,000 workers within a 45 min drive and 6,500 workers who drive out of this area for another manufacturing job.” There will be no labor gaps here” Thelen said.

 

“We have a superior technical college here in the area, Ferris State University. “We reviewed several technical colleges around the country, Ferris by far with their certificate programs, associate programs and even bachelor programs were superior in capabilities with lab space and teachers to get students prepared for work.” Thelen said.

 

“Land space we were looking for a minimum of 400 acres, we are looking to put 2.2 million square feet under roof in phase one, which is around 60 acres and we need space to expand.” Thelen said.

 

Gotion plans for $2.6 billion dollars in investment along with a minimum of 200 jobs coming once the plant opens, with a full 2,300 coming over the next decade.

 

With local approval on Monday night, the next step is for the state of Michigan to put in place incentives for Gotion before everything is finalized in the next six months.

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